Kristóf Rasovszky won the silver medal in the 10-kilometer open water swim at the World Aquatics Championships in Fukuoka, Japan, officially qualifying for the Olympics. The victory went to Olympic champion Florian Wellbrock of Germany, while Dávid Betlehem, another Hungarian competitor in the race, finished 16th.
Kristóf Rasovszky earned the first Hungarian podium finish at the World Championships in the history of the Olympic distance. The Hungarian athlete previously triumphed in the 5 kilometer in Gwangju, South Korea in 2019 to become the first Hungarian world champion in this field.
The swimmers set a strong pace at the start, completing the first lap in less than 18 minutes, with Kristóf Rasovszky second and Dávid Betlehem ninth.
At the halfway point, the order was still Wellbrock and Rasovszky, but Betlehem was not far behind. After the fourth lap, when the German came out for a refresh, Rasovszky took the lead, but he started the last lap in second place – without a refresh – because his rival had overtaken him, and Betlehem was then more than a minute behind.
Kristóf Rasovszky during the race.
In the long chase, the German built up a lead of almost 5 seconds and managed to increase the pace, and his victory was not in danger. Rasovsky had to fight for the silver medal with the other German, Oliver Klemet, who came in at a faster pace, but the Hungarian tactically used his body to outsprint his rival and crossed the finish line faster.
Kristóf Rasovszky also won silver in the 10 kilometer swim at the Tokyo Olympics in 2021.
“It went as I planned, I was able to go through to the front, I didn’t want to give up the position. At the end, I tried to pull as many people off as possible and then I put everything I had into it in the final stretch.
They told me to be as tough as I could and I was as tough as the no-disqualification limits would allow,”
Rasovszky told MTI.
“I was not extremely rough, I am simply 35 kilos heavier than Klemet, so I took advantage of that and swam in a way that gave him less space. Everybody but me has done this at every single world championships, and just like nobody else before, I was not disqualified for this,” the athlete said.
Via MTI, Featured photos via MTI/Koszticsák Szilárd